Do i have it in me to be a jackass?


my first tarot reading:

wtf. this is so true.



Daily Lesson


Challenges/ Opportunities






Near Future

Your Interpretations
Situation: Six of Cups


The past holds clues to your immediate situation. Evaluate past feelings and compare them to what you feel now.

The card that lands in the Situation position refers to the circumstances you find yourself in with regard to your concern.

When the Six of Cups is in this position, the immediate circumstance may be powerfully reminiscent of the past. Your mind and heart recall long forgotten places, faces and feelings. Much information is stored within these memories and something about the present circumstance is triggering them.

It’s worthwhile to compare what you feel now to what you felt long ago. We can never be sure what memory will bring back. Still, we can trust the memory to connect us to things and events through emotional resonance. Asking yourself what is familiar in this situation will help you understand and evaluate the significance of your immediate experience.

Challenges/ Opportunities: Queen of Wands


Communicating enthusiasm produces effective teamwork and heightened self-esteem.

The card in the Challenges/Opportunities position reflects how you can use creativity to turn a crisis or challenge into an opportunity.

With the Queen of Wands in this position, you are challenged to see how a project serves the greater good. Your role is to communicate enthusiasm to participants, energizing them to work up to capacity, with the collective will focused on the greater good.

Your organizational skills keep a number of people on track and everyone’s self esteem benefits. When you can be a source of inspiration, you enjoy a more fruitful harvest and everyone will come away with a higher sense of themselves and their capacities.

Advice: Four of Wands


Exchanging ideas and proposals for addressing a universal need ensures approval and support.

The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.

The Four of Wands in this position supports your good, productive, evolutionary ideas. Concentrate on networking: use your charisma and power to attract like-minded souls so you can significantly increase your sphere of influence — the more people you can reach, the better.

Your enthusiasm empowers your vision, which is pregnant with possibilities. As you share more freely what is on your mind and in your heart, others will see themselves in your vision, so you naturally receive approval, support, assistance and abundance. In your own way, you are addressing a universal need.

Daily Lesson: Eight of Wands


When responsibilities limit your freedoms, self-discipline is required.

The card in the Lesson position represents the personal investment or sacrifice required to derive full benefit from your current situation.

The Eight of Wands in this position signifies that this may be the time for setting aside your personal preferences in order to yield to Nature’s sometimes unforeseen transformations. The unpredictability of life creates both the largest challenges and the greatest opportunities. Your job now is to tend to the garden’s needs and be willing to forego your own.

Some freedoms may be limited as you focus on your duties and obligations. The key is to discipline yourself. The time for leisure will come later.

Near Future: Ace of Wands


You are narrowing in on your goals for this time, and are ready to pick up your tools and get to work.

The card in the Near Future position indicates which way the wind is blowing with regard to your situation. If you follow the Advice card, however, you can improve on or neutralize tendencies.

When the Ace of Wands is in this position, your choices are narrowing and coming into focus, allowing you to define what you really want to do and how you are going to accomplish it. Like water surging through a funnel, your energy needs to narrow down upon itself and penetrate to the core. Proceed with single-mindedness and concentration.

Your opportunity may be imminent, so get rested and organized. If you cannot act with full focus, you may not be able to do the work necessary to reach your objectives. Maintain a state of readiness and wellness about you.


i have chased after a thorough worldview from the time i thought about these things. time and again, i’ve been thwarted in this. by the way, by thorough worldview, i mean a personal philosophy comprehensive enough to form the moral basis of all my opinions and actions. why? because i’m convinced that the grown-up world is fraught with moral dilemmas and life-changing experiences that threaten the very principles you claim to stand by. and i want protection from these dangers. my thorough worldview, i imagined, will be the absolute authority by which i stand; it will make my world black and white.

of course, i never achieved that.

maybe it’s because i’m not intelligent enough to formulate such a system. i believe that. but i also suspect that it might be humanly impossible to come to such a conclusive worldview. i think to achieve this, one might have to commit to some very questionable aspects of the worldview. And to do so, you might have to be quite deluded.

(for an illustration, read about how living by a philosophy leads you to do some very questionable things in “How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood“. and to experience this for yourself, test yourself in Battleground God.)

i don’t really know what i’m trying to achieve with this direction-less reflection. but maybe i’m just very tired of fixing my faulty toy. it keeps getting broken because of something i’ve read, or heard, or seen. it doesn’t help that i’m so helpless in the face of rhetoric and bad at standing my ground.

so what if i can’t hold together a flawless worldview? maybe that would make me more open to ideas. i say i believe in pluralism but sometimes, i get so worked up that another person’s view contradicts my own. i don’t know what is right and what is wrong anymore. i don’t know what to believe in.

and despite how this sounds, it’s not that i feel defeated. in fact, i feel that giving up this pursuit might actually free me.

josh wrote this in a very sweet note:
“we are people without labels and we seek, not just for meaning, but for the meaning of meanings.”

i’ve thought very long about this and maybe he thinks me better than i actually am. i don’t think i mean to be someone without labels, it’s just that labels constantly elude me because i could never correctly define myself and my philosophy, being of a weaker mind.

since i’m lost in it anyway, i’ll just embrace liminality.

exuberance abound:

these days, i’m drawn to create rather than write. it’s just this exuberance, this momentum, that comes from living for a cause. i know how important it is for me to believe in something outside of myself. and while this is all well for my disposition, it does nothing for my writing which thrives on misery.

in this trying period of exhilaration, i can’t help imagining how glorious it would be to live life on this constant high and though i think i might know the method to achieve this, do i dare? oh what am i talking about. of course i dare, it’s just – i don’t know how and i take far too long to recover from failure. i’m kind of lost here – like the geek who pored over 10 encyclopedias to master the theory of swimming only to find, at the edge of the water, a rush of theoretical concepts that don’t translate to practice. which foot to put in first, where should my arm be, do i bend my head like that, oh take a breath of air. what do i do??? (i can swim, by the way. i’m only hydrophobic. only of vast expanses of water. which means i’m a perfectly competent bathtub swimmer.)

i have 10 encyclopedias worth of fantastic advice and i am stranded in limbo. guess i must stop reading and stop thinking and just go. journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. and that one step is a hell of a bitch.

oh well. grumpy val will be back. watch this space.

books so far:
tipping point (ok, i know. it’s just i swore off malcolm gladwell with blink, which was my first attempt.)
x beyond good and evil, nietzsche (gave up, too difficult)
x presentation secrets of steve jobs (gave up, too boring)
anthem, ayn rand (really fascinating)
everything is illuminated, jonathan s. foer (WIP)


my new fascination. thanks to josh.

most important prayer:

Old Man: “It goes like this. Let’s see now: ‘Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.’ That’s it. It’s what you pray silently inside yourself anyway, so you may as well have it out in the open.”

Arthur Dent: “Hmmm, Well, thank you – ”

Old Man: “There’s another prayer that goes with it that’s very important, so you’d better jot this down, too.”

Arthur Dent: “OK.”

Old Man: “It goes, ‘Lord, lord, lord…’ It’s best to put that bit in, just in case. You can never be too sure. ‘Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. Amen…’ And that’s it. Most of the trouble people get into in life comes from missing out that last part.”

on writing:

I’m reading an article on “How to be a writer” and it starts with this quote:

“First, try to be something, anything, else.” – Lorrie Moore

So, how do you become a writer? First, try to be something, anything, else.

This is very, very sound advice. Again, something I’ve always known but never put so eloquently. That is why I’ve categorically avoided choosing a profession in writing. Other than the fear that being paid to write will make me hate the one thing I actually love to do, I don’t think I’m smart enough. Because to be a writer, you need to be fantastic at 2 things: writing, and the thing you write about.

When you’re a writer, you’re never only a writer. It’s too much pressure.